Sweden is to return the names to IKEA after Swedish researchers published a report confirming the ancestry of the group who once used them.
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The words “IKEA” and “Paris” had previously been taken on behalf of thousands of people by a company registered in Luxembourg, as a way of proving their ownership.
Swedish national identity office director Johan Lindström revealed the research as a challenge to the irreverent marketing that has seen “IKEAed” – with the name of the capital, Paris – adopted by the Luxembourg company IKEA AS, which sought to sell advertising space on goods in order to raise funds.
Lex Persson is the founder of the website Lexstaerkensgatan, which describes itself as a service that enables the debunking of IKEA’s marketing.
The first of the town’s name, as coined by Frederick IV at the end of the 12th century, carries connotations of poverty and commerce, while its western counterpart has been synonymous with art, style and artistic sensibilities.
Lindström said: “It might seem funny to put a posh part of town next to cheapness, but in reality it will be important that we develop an atmosphere of respect for both – it will be up to our residents and the local staff to bring it about.”
The town council has promised it will respect the history of the pair.
“The council has in place the ‘IKEA-mobilisation’, which in practice means the town will stick to its original name,” said council councillor Laila Pönnock.